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Writing Opportunities

James Berry Poetry Prize

Information
Closing date: 
1 July 2021
Entry: 
Open to poets of colour, who are UK residents who have not yet published a book-length collection, special consideration given to LGBTQ+/disabled poets and poets from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. No entry fee.
Prize: 
3 equal winners each to receive £1,000 prize, expert mentoring & debut collection published with Bloodaxe Books

PRIZE: 3 equal winners each to receive £1,000 prize, expert mentoring & debut collection published with Bloodaxe Books
The James Berry Poetry Prize will assist young and/or emerging poets of colour with mentoring to help them develop their work, followed by publication of their debut book-length collection with Bloodaxe Books. Devised by Bernardine Evaristo, OBE, and Nathalie Teitler, the prize is modelled on The Complete Works mentoring programme previously supported by Arts Council England.

The prize is free to enter. It is open to poets of colour, who are UK residents (permanently reside in the UK: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man) who have not yet published a book-length collection, with special consideration given to LGBTQ+/disabled poets and poets from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. It is the first national poetry prize to include both mentoring and book publication.

A panel of judges will choose three equal winning poets. Each year the winning poets will be invited to take part in an annual James Berry Poetry Prize reading as part of the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts events series.
The prize is generously funded this year by Arts Council England.

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Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award 2021

Information
Closing date: 
1 July 2021
Entry: 
Writers writing in English and resident within the British Commonwealth and Eire, who have not yet published or self-published a full-length book No entry fee
Prize: 
First Prize £10,000, runners-up £1,000

Applications for the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award are now invited.

Submissions can be made until 1 July 2021.

The judges of the 2021 DRF Writers Award will be Colm Tóibín (Chair), Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud. They will announce the shortlist of three in November 2021 and the Award will be presented in London on 7th December 2021.

An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work.

Submissions

  • Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title in any language.
  • Applications are open to writers who have not previously published a full-length book of their own prose writing (including self-published or published on-line) excluding a collection of their own poetry. They may have published short prose writing within a magazine/anthology.
  • Submissions should be accompanied with a brief synopsis and biographical note.
  • Longlisted authors will be offered an editorial consultation with an agent at RCW.

More details

 

The Moth Short Story Prize 2021

Information
Closing date: 
30 June 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers over 16. Entry fee €15 per story
Prize: 
1st prize €3,000, 2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend, 3rd prize €1,000

The Moth Short Story Prize is an important date on the literary calendar. Every year, a single judge is asked to choose three winning stories to feature in the autumn issue of The Moth.

This year's judge is award-winning story writer and novelist writer Ali Smith.

1st prize €3,000
2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend
3rd prize €1,000

The Prize is open to anyone (over 16) as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. There is a word limit of 5,000.

The entry fee is €15 per story. Closing 30 June 2021.

More details 

The 2021 Page Turner Awards

Information
Closing date: 
30 May 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers over 18. Entry fees £20 for entries received by 28 February and £30 after that
Prize: 
£10,000 prize fund

New Writing and Book Awards Aims to Change Writing Careers

The Page Turner Awards were created to change writing careers with success stories from the most impressive first 10 pages submitted.

Five different awards aim to help writers and authors to get discovered with possible literary agency representation and potentially taking a published book from page to film.

The Page Turner Writing Award offers writers and authors the chance to enter the first 10 pages of a completed, unpublished fiction or non-fiction manuscript, where a group of literary agents will read the work with a chance to get it published. Submissions are open until 30 May.

The Five awards include:

The Writing Award

Young Writer Award

Screenplay Award

Writing Mentorship

Book Award

The award welcomes both emerging writers and all genres for fiction and non-fiction from any English-speaking country across the world.

The prestigious judging panel, made up of successful award-winning authors, literary agents and publishers, is looking for vivid, cinematic writing with captivating characters and unique voices.

Winners of the Writing Award may receive representation by a literary agent.

The £10K prize fund includes a wide range  of prizes.

For more details

 

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2020

Information
Closing date: 
15 May 2021
Entry: 
Unpublished and unagented writers of children’s fiction suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. No entry fee
Prize: 
A worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from a top literary agent

Enter The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

We no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts, but we do offer unpublished and unagented writers of children's fiction the chance to submit their work to the annual Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. We're looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! We'd particularly like to encourage entry for BAME writers and others from underrepresented backgrounds. The competition will close for entries on 1 February 2021 at 11.59pm GMT.

The Times/Chicken House Prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from a top literary agent.

This year we're delighted to introduce an exciting new prize, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), who are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2021. The IET 150 Award will be awarded to a complete fiction manuscript for children aged 7 up to Young Adult that broadly explores or celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

By entering the competition, your manuscript will automatically be considered for both prizes by our expert team of readers. To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length we suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts entered do not exceed 80,000 words in length (please note these are suggested word counts). Read on for more details!

• About The Times/Chicken House Competition
• Barry's Tips
• Competition FAQs
• Competition Terms & Conditions

See also Top Writing tips from Managing Director Barry Cunningham

More details

 

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

Information
Closing date: 
3 May 2021
Entry: 
International entry. No entry fee
Prize: 
Adult Fiction prize and a Young Adult /Middle Grade prize. First Prize Publication contract offer from Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press with advance against royalties, Second Prize $150 and critiques

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

*Open for submissions until May 3rd*

The first Leapfrog Fiction Prize was established in 2009 as an additional means of discovering new writing. This year, we have rebranded the contest the Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize and have split the competition into two, providing both an Adult Fiction prize and a Young Adult /Middle Grade prize.

What to Enter

This year we have expanded to two awards for Adult novels, novellas, and short story collections, and Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) novels. Minimum word count: 22,000. Individual stories in a collection may have been published in journals. Books that have been self-published will be considered "unpublished" if fewer than about 200 copies were printed.

We look for literary fiction and mainstream fiction, including science fiction. Generally we are less interested in strict genre fiction, but if a manuscript is good and grabs our attention, we don't care what the genre is.

Judging

All manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two Leapfrog and/or Can of Worms editors, and those that go to the second round of judging may be read by editors at other small presses as well.

Prizes

First Prize: publication contract offer from Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press, with an advance payment against royalties, plus the finalist awards (see below).

Finalists: $150 and one or two critiques of the manuscript from contest judges; permanent listing on the Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms contest pages as a contest finalist, along with short author bio and description of the book.

Semi-Finalist: Choice of a free Leapfrog and Can of Worms book; permanent listing on the websites.

Honourable Mention: listing on the Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press websites.


More details

 

 

The International Rubery Book of the Year Award 2021

Information
Closing date: 
31 March 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers internationally who have published or self-published their work Entry fee £37
Prize: 
£1500 plus £150 for at least three category winners

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Creative writing is such a key part of life for those who enjoy writing yet it is increasingly difficult to become traditionally published. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.

The Rubery Prize is a well-established name in the publishing world.

It is open to all writers internationally and is awarded to a book published in print or ebook form. Books published by independent presses and self published books are eligible to enter

We accept fiction (all genres), young adult, children's, biographies, non-fiction, self-help, cookery, poetry, photography etc. There are no limits on the type.

The winning book will be read by a top literary agent at MBA. They are under no obligation to take the winner on as a client but you are guaranteed that they will consider your work. Please also be aware that MBA, like most literary agents, does not represent poetry. A first prize winning poetry volume will still receive the prize money though.

Judges

Narinder Dhami and Clare Morrall.

For more details

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prizes 2021

Information
Closing date: 
7 March 2021
Entry: 
Open to writers of any nationality writing in English Entry fee for Best Unpublished Novel £49
Prize: 
£15,000 for Best Unpublished Novel, an advance on a publishing deal with Bonnier and £10,000 for Best Published Novel

Submissions for the two 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prizes are now open. The international prize is now in its sixth year. Entries are accepted from writers of any nationality, writing in English. The deadline is 7 March.

Best Published Novel (£10,000) - The Best Published Novel award is designed to celebrate the best adventure stories of the last year with novels being submitted by publishers, literary agents, or writers themselves. The 2020 award is open for submissions until 7 March 2021.

The award is open to writers of any nationality writing in English. Each September, under guidance from an expert judging panel, the title of Best Published Novel is presented to one winning author.

More details

Best Unpublished Manuscript. (£15,000 advance) The Best Unpublished Manuscript is designed to launch the career of aspiring adventure writers. The 2021 award is open for submissions until 7 March 2021.

Unpublished and self-published writers submit their manuscripts to be in with a chance of winning a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK with an advance of £15,000.

Authors must not already have a novel published although self-published works are eligible. Authors must not have a literary agent. There is an entry fee of £49 per submission, Submissons and Feedback cost £11..

More details

Established in September 2015, The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation 'dedicated to empowering writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing as a genre. Through our work, we want to reach out to writers and readers across the world, allowing everyone to have their own adventures through the words on a page.'

The 2021 International Book and Pamphlet Competition

Information
Closing date: 
1 March 2021
Entry: 
Open internationally. Entry fee £28, £25 to subscribers to The North
Prize: 
Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books

The 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries

Judged by Daljit Nagra & Pascale Petit

DEADLINE: last post on Monday 1st March 2021, or midnight on Monday 1st March 2021 for online entrants.

ENTRY FEE: £28, or £25 for North subscribers, Friends of the Poetry Business and members of the Poetry Society.

PRIZES: Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books and more.

The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition remains the most established pamphlet competition in the UK. The Competition continues to discover and publish outstanding new poets, many of whom go on to publish widely and celebrate successful writing careers.

Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20 pages of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the judges to be published by our award winning imprint, Smith|Doorstop books.

All winners will receive close editing, extending their entry up to 28 pages and are guaranteed pamphlet publication. There is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which, where the judges feel it is appropriate, will be published as a book in the autumn of 2021.

Full-price entry is £28. Subscribers to The North, Friends of the Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. All entrants will also receive a 20% code that can be used to purchase books or memberships from the Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at  www.poetrybooks.co.uk website books at www.poetrybooks.co.uk.

More details https://poetrybusiness.co.uk/competitions/book-pamphlet-competition/

 

Discoveries Women’s Prize for Fiction

Information
Closing date: 
17 January 2021
Entry: 
Open to all women aged 18 and above, residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English. No entry fee
Prize: 
Winner £5,000. All longlisted and shortlisted authors will be offered tailored mentorship packages from a Curtis Brown agent or industry expert and free or discounted places on Curtis Brown Creative’s creative writing courses.

In honour of the 25th anniversary year for the Women's Prize for Fiction, and in recognition of untapped diverse and exceptional writing talent across the country, the Women's Prize Trust, powered by NatWest and Curtis BrownSee Curtis Brown listing, is launching Discoveries. Discoveries is a unique and ambitious writers' development programme offering aspiring female writers of all ages and backgrounds encouragement and support at the beginning of their creative journeys.

For people across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has meant a radical change to their daily lives, and limited access to arts and culture. Although most women have increased pressures on their time, many are picking up their pens for the first time or tackling a writing project they have always dreamed of starting.

Kate Mosse, Novelist & Founder Director of Women's Prize for Fiction, said:

"Somewhere out there, our Women's Prize winner of the future is considering whether to pick up the pen - to her I want to say: do it. ‘Discoveries' is here to help you on your way. For 25 years, the Women's Prize has championed female writers to tell their own stories and make sure as diverse and wide a range of voices are heard. Whether you're 88, 48 or 18, the beginning of one's writing journey is a crucial time and the authors of tomorrow, whoever they are, wherever they are, deserve support today."

Discoveries invites women of all ages and backgrounds to submit their work of fiction. The programme doesn't require writers to have finished a novel - only the opening three chapters or up to 10,000 words - and it is free to enter.

The Women's Prize Trust, NatWest, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative Writing School will curate a programme of free online content. This will include interviews with publishing industry professionals, practical advice and inspiration from former winners and shortlistees of the Women's Prize for Fiction, and teaching notes by Curtis Brown Creative Writing School to help writers craft their submissions.
A longlist of 16 and shortlist of six writers will be selected by a judging panel, with the winner offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000. All longlisted and shortlisted authors will be offered personalised mentorship packages from a Curtis Brown agent or industry expert tailored to their needs, and free or discounted places on Curtis Brown Creative's creative writing courses.

The programme will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction.

The longlist and shortlist of Discoveries will be announced in the spring of 2021 and will be invited to attend the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction award ceremony in summer 2021.

More details

 

The Selfies Book Awards UK 2021

Information
Closing date: 
1 January 2021
Entry: 
Authors who have self-published adult fiction, children’s books or adult memoirs/autobiography in the UK between January and December 2020. Entry fee: £25 per title to include a six-month subscription to Bookbrunch
Prize: 
£750 cash prize for each category plus a profile in BookBrunch and the option of a special publishing deal provided by sponsors IngramSpark

Back for the third year, the hugely popular UK Selfies book awards - powered by BookBrunch - is adding for 2021 a third category, adult memoirs/autobiography, to the existing categories of adult fiction and children's books.

Sponsored by IngramSpark and supported by the London Book Fair and Nielsen Book, the awards recognise authors self-publishing their own works - one of the fastest growing parts of the book market. Submissions are now open, and the closing date is Friday 1 January 2021.

Shortlists will be announced at the end of February, and the Selfies Awards for 2021 in all three categories will be announced in the spring.

The inaugural, 2019 Selfies Award was presented to Jane Davis for her adult novel Smash All the Windows. In 2020, the winner of the adult category was Clare Flynn with her historical love story The Pearl of Penang, and Jemma Hatt took home the children's prize for her middle-grade escapade The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle.

"These awards have uncovered some tremendous self-published titles', said Jo Henry of BookBrunch, "and we're delighted to be back for a third year to reward great fiction and children's books, and with a new category for people to enter."

The cash prize for each category is £750 plus a profile in BookBrunch and the option of a special publishing deal provided by sponsors IngramSpark. All shortlisted authors will receive free membership of the Author HQ club at the London Book Fair 2021. Comprising a theatre and networking area, Author HQ provides a forum for discussions on approaches to publishing and includes networking events and "how-to" panels.

What the judges are looking for:

  • A fantastic story that entertains and delights the reader
  • A well-produced book
  • An enticing cover and blurb that successfully address the target audience
  • An effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy that has the potential for great sales

All titles submitted need to have been published in English in the UK between January and December 2020. Entries will be accepted only from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or exclusively self-published - ie, where the author acts as the publisher/creative director.

In order to register, authors should go to www.bookbrunch.co.uk, click on the subscribe button and select the 6 month subscription box, using the code SELFIES2021-ADULTFICTION if submitting a title in the adult category, SELFIES2021-CHILDRENS if submitting a title in the children's category, and SELFIES2021-ADULTMEMOIR if submitting a title for the memoir/autobiography category. The fee of £25 per title will include a six-month subscription to BookBrunch (normal price £60).

The sister Selfies book awards in the US will open for submissions on 1 January 2021.

For more information please see www.theselfies.co.uk

 

The Moth Poetry Prize 2020

Information
Closing date: 
31 December 2020
Entry: 
Open to all poets over 16 for an unpublished poem. Entry fee €15 per poem
Prize: 
1st prize €6,000, plus three runner-up prizes of €1,000 and eight commended poets will each receive €250

The prize is for an unpublished poem, and entrants (over 16) are welcome from anywhere in the world.

The four shortlisted poems will be published in the spring 2021 issue of The Moth and the overall winner will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry IrelandThe website of the Irish National Poetry Organisation, offering a resource centre, introductions and readings from new and emerging poets resident in Ireland. www.poetryireland.ie in the spring.

There is an entry fee of €15 per poem.

This year's judge is Nick Laird.

Closing 31 December 2020.

More details